Stories tagged bleeding

Aug
13
2008

Heyo!: The best day of my life.
Heyo!: The best day of my life.Courtesy JGordon
So, hey, get a load of this: my face is bleeding, y’all!

I know what you’re thinking: “That’s great, JGordon, but what good does it do me? How can my face be more like your face?”

Good question, Buzzketeer, but I don’t know the answer. Why not?

Because it’s a mystery!

So let’s look at the clues:
Clue #1) A fluid seems to be coming out of my face, via the nostrils.
Clue #2) The fluid has the color, taste, and temperature of blood, so it is most likely blood.
Clue #3) The episode began in the bathtub.

Not a lot to go on, but I’ve tackled trickier cases before. The Case of the Missing Mac & Cheese, for one, was almost entirely devoid of physical evidence, and yet I was able to confidently declare the perpetrator (and I will never forgive you, Brother).

Let’s start with what we have. Fluid from the facial region can result from any number of conditions. Sadness, for example. But I’m very rarely sad while in the tub, so that’s out. The fact that the fluid seemed to be blood (lab tests are pending, but I’m fairly certain that it was blood) indicates “epistaxis,” or the nosebleed.

The nosebleed, eh? But how could this have happened? Time for phase 2 of our little investigation: The Whys and Wherefores. Get the usual suspects together.

Suspect #1) A sharp blow to the face—Um, no, I think I would remember that. That didn’t happen.

Suspect #2) Nasal sprays, or nasal prong O2—No, no sprays were administered prior to face bleeding, nor did I have a nasal prong inserted.

Suspect #3) Co-co-cocaine!—Nope. I’m afraid that I don’t do coke. And I think that that might be a tricky proposition in the tub anyway. I’ll have to watch Scarface again.

Suspect #4) Nosepicking—Ho ho! Now we’re getting closer to home! But, no, I only pick my nose at parties. As fun as bath time is, it’s no party.

Suspect #5) Low humidity—I don’t know. I mean, I was in the tub, and it was full of hot water. Probably no.

Suspect #6) Intranasal tumors—Oh, goodness gracious! But a simple test confirms that I can still breath freely from both nostrils. Probably no tumors there.

Suspect #7) Inflammatory reaction—Hmm… like allergies? I don’t have much in the way of allergies, but I’ve been known to sniffle and sneeze now and again. What if there was something irritating in the house…like everything I own that is never dusted (everything I own)…and what if this natural irritant was combined with vigorous facial scrubbing. Perhaps that could cause the rupture of an anterior nasal blood vessel, and subsequent hemorrhaging.

Or it could be, as Wikipedia says, “a significant number of nosebleeds occur with no obvious cause.” Whatever.

Case closed? Just about. But how to get this thing to stop, how to shut off the blood faucet (as the doctors say)?

Just pinch the nose, okay? And if anyone tells you to tilt your head back, try to sneeze blood on them—tilting your head just ensures that the blood drains into your mouth and stomach, instead of onto their carpet.

Oct
12
2006

Stop bleeding fast: photo by crystal via wikimedia
Stop bleeding fast: photo by crystal via wikimedia

Super quick fix for bleeding.

Last June 4th, I reported that MIT researchers used a self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold to repair severed brain structures in blind rodents and restore their sight. Those same researchers noticed the material's dramatic ability to stop bleeding in the brain and began testing it on a variety of other organs and tissues.

In a study published online October 10 in Nanomedicine the researchers report that the liquid controlled bleeding in rodents within 15 seconds in seven other wound types, including cuts to the spinal cord, liver [view video here] and femoral artery as well as skin punctures.

Platelets not needed

The liquid does not seem to form a conventional blood clot, the group notes. Electron microscopy turned up no sign of the platelets that would normally gather in a clot. The proteins might instead form tangles that act like hair blocking a drain, Ellis-Behnke suggests.
The gel eventually breaks down into amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, that can be used by surrounding cells for tissue repair.

This discovery has created lots of excitement, especially by surgeons. Still, they caution that extensive clinical trials are needed to make sure the materials work properly and are safe. The MIT researchers hope to see those crucial human trials within three to five years.

Read more at: New Scientist Tech and Scientific American